Redefining Death

PhotoMoodySmartt

For over a year I spent studying one on one with Dr. Raymond Moody, by phone or at his home. I learned so very much from this brilliant, gentle and funny man. From ancient Greek philosophy to the logic of nonsense to the use of a psychomanteum as a vehicle to address grief, he shared generously of his vast store of knowledge and expertise as a medical doctor, doctor of philosophy, and forensic psychiatrist.

And yet…after 50 years of research into near death and shared death experiences, reincarnation…virtually all things surrounding death…he never concluded that consciousness survives death. I cannot now give you the very lengthy definition he used for death…but… it came to the idea of complete annihilation. Period. Zilch. The end. Forever. All work in the field of life after death attempted to explain the paradox of…life…after…death. The phrase is nonsensical.

I suggested something to him that I am not sure he appreciated. I suggested that the very definition was wrong…was predicated on a falsity. I suggested that the definition of death needed to be redefined. I mean…who got to stipulate what death was? And when? Certainly, the ancient Egyptians and other cultures had a vastly different view of death. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” In any case, after all these years and all this study, it just might be time to redefine death.

With that I invite you today to register for Dr. Moody’s free webinar, “I’m Convinced.” It kicks off the opening of his new online school, The University of Heaven. With his colleague, Lisa Smartt, they will be offering courses of study in many facets of the death. There will be many of the top people in the field of consciousness as guest teachers. And finally, after more than 50 years in the field, Dr. Moody will address his conclusion on whether consciousness does indeed survive what we call death.

For those of you, like me, who have been avid readers and admirers of his work since the beginning, this is a momentous occasion. Dr. Moody is an incomparable teacher, mentor…and friend. I hope you will join “us” this coming Tuesday, October 30th at 7pm ET.

 

University of Heaven

I send along the address of Dr. Raymond Moody’s new University of Heaven. There are some articles and blog posts already preceding its official opening in November. Considered the grandfather of the modern near-death experience, he is legendary in the field of death, dying and what might come afterward. He and his colleagues will be teaching online. What an amazing opportunity to learn from a master in the comfort of your own home.

He is my friend and mentor. His guidance has inspired the new book I continue to work on that should be published in 2019.

http://theuniversityofheaven.com/

Today, people still deny the existence of a spiritual realm

Without this understanding, my new book ,which continues to unfold in often surprising ways, could not even begin. Go on…take a deep breath.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

Just as mankind has to do with the three realms of nature, he also has to do with three spiritual realms. Now you may say: It is of no consequence whether I believe it or not, for these three kingdoms are not visible, not perceptible. Yes, gentlemen, I have known people, to whom it had to be explained that air exists! They could not believe that there was something like air. When I say to such a person, this is a table – that he can believe, for when he goes to the table, he can knock on the table, and when he looks at it, he sees the table with his own eyes, but he cannot bump into the air. He looks around and says, there is nothing here. However, everyone nowadays admits the existence of air. The existence of air is simply accepted.

In the same way, it…

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Divine Dissatisfaction

boosting-creativity-2 (1)

Listening to my inner guidance while writing my latest book has led me down some surprising avenues. At times, I question my ability to fulfill its edicts. It has me pushing through a lot of self-doubt. Not long ago I came across this conversation between two of the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century: Martha Graham, a pioneer of modern dance and Agnes De Mille, whose choreography for musicals like “Oklahoma” revolutionized musical comedy theatre. Agnes was confused because work she did that she felt was very good was relatively ignored while other works of hers she felt were just okay received acclaim. The following is Martha Graham’s advice to her. I have a copy of it taped to the wall before my computer so I can remind myself what this is all about. I hope you also will find value in it…because we are all Agnes.

A Letter to Agnes DeMille : Martha Graham

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

 If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is;
nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased.

There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others.

 

 

What is Real?

Reality

A lot of new people have joined the community recently and I want to thank each one of you for sharing this journey with me. I don’t post as many original blogs these days as I am committed to writing my new book. It’s a bit of a surprise as I never thought I would write another book after The Art of Death Midwifery. Then this past winter solstice the premise of a book struck me like lightning. I’ve been writing every day since.

This book draws on all the various experiences of my life and yet…I am often stunned by what is evolving. Generally, I do not talk about a book while I am writing it but because of its surprising nature I spoke with my friend and mentor, Dr. Raymond Moody, about it. I have such deep respect for this work, his intelligence, his experience and his genuinely kind heart that I wanted to run it by him and see what he thought. He is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist in addition to being the grandfather of the modern near-death experience after all.

After I laid out what has transpired in the writing of this book thus far, I asked him, “Am I nuts?” Yes, those exact words. He very thoughtfully assessed what I told him and how I told it to him. “No,” he said, “Your voice is energetic and bright but I do not detect any signs of psychosis.” He also assured me that what I had described to him is not out of the range of possibility. In fact, he said with all the discoveries in science and our universe, with all the infinite possibilities we continue to discover, he asked, “What is real?” Or as my much-loved songwriter sang, “The real world is really unreal.”

As much as I wish I didn’t feel the need for validation, it was great comfort to get the Dr. Moody seal of approval, with his promise to read my book before publication.

This book is coming together in an entirely different way than my first and one thing I am discovering is that body chemistry plays an important role in my being able to sense the very subtle energies I connect with. A few months ago, I had to change thyroid medications. I had a choice of going lower than my normal dose or higher as the new medication didn’t offer the exact dose I was on. I tried lower and saw that gradually I began to gain some weight. So just recently, I tried the higher dose. That felt awful…sleep difficulties, feeling like being crushed in a vise…and an inability to sense the subtle energies required for my work to go forward. So…I had to make a choice: weigh less and give up the work or go down to the lower dose, gain a few pounds and restore the sensitivities needed. As much as I dread gaining weight, the choice is clear. I’m back to the lower dose and beginning to be able to sense the subtle energies again. Whew! It was a little scary when they left.

Vanity aside, it becomes clear that in order to do the work that is unique to you…and each of us have that work…the work that only you can do and that is very much needed by the world…you will be called to make sacrifices…large and small. It is my wish that the choice will be easy for each of you.

So…I’ll check in from time to time with an original thought but mostly I will send along quotes from Rudolf Steiner and others that touch in some small way upon the work I am doing. And if you are currently pursuing the work that the Universe asks of you, the work only you can do, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment on this page and let us know what that is…if you can.

Until then…

A giant step forward

When taking that giant step forward it may feel as though there is nothing but air underneath you but dare to take the step anyway. As I continue work on my book, this step is taking me places I never expected to go. It can be a bit scary at times but then, if one is not afraid of death…what really is there to be afraid of?

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

We are not separated from the dead at all in our life of feeling or of will. What is removed from our gaze is only hidden from our sense perceptions and our mental pictures. It will be a giant step forward in the evolution of the human race on earth, in that part of human evolution that we still must live through, if some day people become conscious of the fact that in their impulses of feeling and will they are one with the dead. Death can indeed rob us of our physical view of the dead and of our thoughts of them. There is nothing that we feel, however, without the dead being there with us in the sphere in which we feel; likewise, there is nothing that we will without the dead being there with us in the sphere in which we will.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA…

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But I Raise My Glass

Tonyblog

Today, April 14, 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of the death of Anthony Newley. As I write this, friends and fans of Tony gather in London to lift a glass celebrating his life. He was a truly unique talent – creator of musicals both for the West End and Broadway, songwriter, singer, actor, director and mime. He inspired so many young performers and writers. He inspires me.

Even with all my work and study with the dying and now the dead, I feel certain that consciousness survives death, I miss him. He died too young, robbing his family of a loving father, his friends of “someone who made you feel like the most important person in the world,” and his fans of so many more magical stories and songs he would have created. We all die with unrealized potential. He died with universes left to unfold.

The soul that was Tony Newley continues but we are no longer be able to “Look at that Face.”[1] See his hands sing. Hear that unique voice and wicked laugh. Feel the embrace his friends describe as “engulfing, the biggest bear hug in the world.” Those are gone forever.

But not Tony. Not the spirit who endured an early life of despair and privation, not only endured but then soared to the very heights of the entertainment world. And back down again. That complex and charismatic spirit discovered nineteen years ago that what we call death needs redefining. It is not annihilation as those trapped in materialism argue. It is transcendence to a different frequency, a different dimension no less real than this one, for the “real world is really unreal.”[2]

It is okay that we miss the dead but we should never dismiss them. Nor should we bind them with intense sorrow. For someone we love, it is the least we can do. So today, I raise my glass from this side of the pond, joining those who celebrate his life. And then…I continue to build the bridge where we shall meet and share and create…together. Tony built a mountain. [3] I’ll build a bridge.

[1] Song from “The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd”

[2] From the song “This Dream” from “The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd”

[3] “Gonna Build a Mountain” from the musical “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off”